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When Alice Namonje first moved to Lubunda from the east of Zambia to teach in the community's school, she found that some of the village's women couldn't afford to manage their periods safely.

Using locally sourced materials, she designed her own sanitary pad which could be produced with sewing machines that WaterAid provided to the school. Students like Claudia rallied together to help make enough pads to make sure Lubunda's women no longer have to use paper or dirty rags when their periods arrive.

GLOW

Sanitary pad sewing is just one part of the amazing work Alice's Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) group take part in. Part choir and part club, GLOW help girls support one another to live happier, healthier lives. The group also help break taboos that once held them back.

Alice demonstrates different types of safe, home-made sanitary pads to the Girls Leading Our World group.

"In our club what we do is we talk to the men. So the club are breaking the silence around periods," Alice explains.

"We’ve taught the boys," she says, her voice growing fierce, "you do not laugh at the girls. For us as women it’s a sign of being healthy. So why should you laugh at your classmates and colleagues like that? In fact, you are a man, so you should be helping these girls."

Seeds of today

Outside of her work at the school, Alice likes the spend her time gardening. With the piped clean water that has been installed, she's started a small vegetable farm outside her house.

"I’m going to grow carrots, onion, tomatoes and cabbage – a variety of vegetables. It’s very easy now with a tap nearby. We have very nice bananas around here – no chemicals!"

She sees a lot in common with cultivating her land and her work with Lubunda's children. "Our school motto is ‘The seeds of today are the flowers of tomorrow'. Of course, seeds need water to grow."

Meet some of the young women who make up Girls Leading Our World >